Distribution operators need to pay a new tariff to broadcasters starting Feb

Distribution platform operators (DPOs) will have to pay broadcasters based on the new pricing commencing this month, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has said.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) before noted that only 65 percent of cable services subscribers and 35 percent of DTH subscribers have migrated to the new MRP regime, prompting it to extend the deadline to March-end for those who haven’t migrated.

“Effective from February 2019 onwards our member broadcasters will be raising invoices on DPOs in accordance with the provisions stipulated by TRAI under the new MRP regime,” IBF stated in a statement.

The IBF published the statement regarding the pricing after DPOs sought clarification following TRAI decision to extend the deadline to March 31, 2019, to those subscribers who have not yet migrated to new tariff regime.

The foundation also stated its member broadcasters have executed the Reference Interconnect Offer (RIOs) under the new MRP regime with the DPOs and have implemented the new MRP regime effective February 1, 2019, as mandated by TRAI.

“Thus every DPOs are statutorily bound to adhere to the provisions of the new MRP regime. Accordingly, DPOs are hereby requested to give their monthly subscriber reports as mandated under the new MRP regime in respect of each of their subscribers on the duly notified dates — 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of every month,” IBF said.

As per the new tariff regime, which came into effect from February 1, viewers can pick and select the channels they wish to watch and pay for only those selected, rather than the earlier system of paying for a bundle of channels that were being pushed to viewers at a fixed rate.

The order was created to bring in transparency and empowering the audience, who were earlier offered packs by DTH and cable TV operators without much choice of selection.

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